5 Warning Signs You’re In a Toxic Relationship (And It’s Killing You) post image

Something I, and unfortunately many other women, know a lot about is toxic relationships. A toxic substance is something that causes damage to you, drains you, and depletes you. A toxic relationship can irrevocably damage your sense of self.

There are toxic relationships and then there are toxic relationships, and I found myself in the latter when I was a junior in college and head over heels in love with a guy who was all sorts of wrong. Like most relationships, this one got off to a relatively problem-free start. The chemistry was electric, the attraction was strong, conversation flowed effortlessly, and we couldn’t get enough of each other. I felt a pull toward him unlike anything I had ever felt before. I saw some signs of trouble early on, but convinced myself that it would all work out because it simply had to. But it didn’t.

As time went on things only got worse, and throughout the course of our year-long relationship I turned into a dark shadow of my former self. I was no longer fun, outgoing, optimistic, confident, and full of light. Instead I felt constantly on edge, painfully insecure, drained, and sad. I lived under a dark cloud of fear … fear that it would end, that he would leave. I may have been miserable with him, but I believed that without him I would be beyond repair, so I stayed. I stayed far longer than I should have. I stayed even though he gave me every reason not to. In the end, he was the one who left, and as expected I felt gutted.

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Ask a Guy: Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship… post image

I’ve been in my relationship for over 2 years. We started out great. He was attentive, sweet, caring and I felt on top of the world with him. However, looking back I can see that after 3 months, the relationship dynamic started to change and I started to change. He started to put me down, get cold emotionally or get really angry from time to time… It wasn’t over-the-top or out of the ordinary and I would just let it go since I just wanted the relationship to fall back into harmony.

Now, after 2 years into the relationship, I’m starting to question if I’m in a toxic relationship. I have felt for a long time that I have to walk on eggshells around him… I’m afraid to say or do the wrong thing around him because I never know what will trigger his anger or harsh criticism.

On the other hand, though, when things are good, they’re really good. Our sexual chemistry is amazing, I have never connected with a man the way I connect with him and when he’s happy with me I feel like I’m on top of the world. I still love him very much and despite the negative ways he acts sometimes, I believe he loves me very much too. He’s always been faithful to me, he pays all my bills and we live together now.

I feel so conflicted: Am I in a toxic relationship? Are toxic relationships repairable? Is what I’m experiencing normal in a relationship from time to time?

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